How To Create A Mentally Healthy Workplace
Over the past two years, mental health in the workplace has been described as one of the most significant issues that employers need to address. In 2020 the World Health Organisation (WHO) officially classified burnout as a medical condition and in 2020/21 stress, depression or anxiety accounted for 50 per cent of all work-related ill-health cases.
This month our CEO, Jake Mills, spoke to Liverpool Chamber’s Well Connected magazine about creating a mentally healthy workplace. Below are some tips that can be implemented in any business.
Encourage Openness & Understanding
Create a top-down and bottom-up culture that allows people to talk about their mental health openly and freely, without fear of being stigmatised. When people talk about their mental health, listen and take relevant action.
Too often businesses assume what staff want and need to improve mental health and wellbeing, but they forget (or don’t bother) to ask. There’s no point being ‘flexible’ by implementing work-from-home Fridays, when that might be the worst possible day for many to be at home. One-size-fits-all doesn’t work for mental health.
Understand Individual Needs
You are working with individuals and everyone’s needs and mental health will be different. There should be an open channel for employees to come to business leaders and express their needs and you should be willing to understand those needs and from them learn how to improve.
Consider The Wider Impact Of Mental Health Initiatives
Mental health training is vitally important and there are a lot of great options out there, but employers often don’t consider the impact of training formats on employees’ mental health. Training a pocketful of people to be the go-to for mental health shifts responsibility and therefore pressure onto those trained. Do they really have adequate skills for that? Is there support in place for them? If it’s ‘train the trainer’ style, will the message and quality be diluted?
Know How To Signpost To Help
Looking after the mental health of employees can be stressful, but you don’t have to be the expert. Consider training, such as Chasing the Stigma’s ‘Ambassadors of Hope’ programme, that equips the individual with tools to look after their own mental health, spot warning signs in others and signpost to experts using the Hub of Hope.
You can read more in the Well Connected April 2022 here (page 20)<- Back to news